Getting ready for ArduPilot 2.0

Chris Anderson
DIY Drones

February 25, 2009

As I hinted earlier [ ], we're working on the second version of ArduPilot, which uses the same hardware but new software to do both the navigation and stabilization functions itself, with no need for a FMA Co-Pilot (although we still use the FMA XY sensor [ ] ). Jordi's still testing and tweaking the code, but in the meantime I thought I'd start by showing you how to connect the FMA sensor to ArduPilot.

Cut one of the cables that comes with the FMA sensor in half and pull the four wires apart for about two inches. Strip their ends by about a quarter of an inch. Slip on heat shrink tubing. If you have some red tubing, put it on the second wire in from the side of the cable with the red strip, to mark the positive power cable (yes, that's confusing. V+ isn't the wire with the red strip--it's the wire next to it!). Now solder each pair of wires to a two-pin male machine pin header [ ], and shrink the tubing around them. (See photo above).

Now, solder on one two-hole female machine pin header [ ] to the ArduPilot board in the VCC and GND holes, and another one in holes Analog 0 and 1, as shown in the diagram below. You can see the FMA sensor pin-out details here [ ].

Finally, solder a regular two-pin header on the ArduPilot's D6 and D7 holes. This is to place a jumper on when you're doing IR calibration the first time on the ground.

Note that in this version of ArduPilot, we do altitude control with the elevator, not the throttle, so plug in your servos as shown in the diagram above.

Within the next week or two we'll release software that will be able to use this new configuration, but I did want to give you a taster while you're waiting. This is going to be cool!


Copyright 2009